Hurricane Sandy hit three weeks ago Monday and while things are back to normal in a lot of places, they are plenty of people still homeless and plenty of people without power. Furthermore, the amount of money it will take to rebuild huge parts of New York and New Jersey is still a big question mark.
Why do I mention Hurricane Sandy on a sports blog? Because apparently Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey as it is officially named, is considering leaving the Big East and heading to the Big Ten. Doing so would require Rutgers to pay a $10-million exit fee from the Big East. For a public university to consider paying that type of penalty in normal times is shameful, to consider it now is criminal.
And it’s not just Rutgers. Maryland is also considering a move to the Big 10 and they might have to pay FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS to do so. I don’t care how the schools raise this money. (They will probably rely on boosters, this has to stop.
Look, I get it, college sports is not about anything more than money. The idea of educating the players is a secondary consideration at best. But this is something different. As schools increasingly cut back on classes and tuitions continue to increase exponentially, this is insanity. According to this report, 98 out of 120 schools playing D1 Football LOST money in fiscal year 2010. That’s over 81% of the teams playing on the biggest stage there is in college football.
So, how can any school justify paying any exit fee from a conference? And where are the trustees of these schools? I don’t know what it will take, but if I were a parent paying tuition at one of these universities or a taxpayer in New Jersey or Maryland, I would be letting my elected officials know exactly what I think about all of this.